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  KD MAGAZINE! 
יום שישי י"א באייר תשס"ה, 20 במאי 2005
 
 


IS MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN?
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

At one of my recent seminars on marriage, a group of young couples had a discussion based on the following thought. As religious people we believe that a marriage is predestined. Forty days before conception, the soul is prepared for a journey down to this world, and a proclamation is made in heaven regarding the beauty, intelligence and talents of the child. Likewise, it is announced who this soul is destined to marry.
 
The participants in the class had a question. If marriage is in fact as explained above and elaborated upon in Kabbalah that it's two halves of the same soul reuniting under the marriage canopy, why is it that creating and maintaining peace and harmony, love and friendship in the home take so much effort? Why must we exert so much energy to achieve these things and have a healthy marriage?
 
My answer to them was that marriage is not a reward nor a prize. When people marry they haven't passed a finish line - if anything that's just when the race is starting. Marriage is a  task.  It's a  job and a full time job at that. Marriage is a labor of love, yet it's still a labor.
 
It's true that we can find some couples that were childhood sweethearts and the excitement, glamour, infatuation and love last a life time without much effort. For some reason those couples are very visible, and though it seems like 10% of the married population is in this situation, it's more likely it's as little as 2%.
 
Most people have to work on their marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions about marriage is that the job of cultivating a happy marriage is split 50% - 50%. Actually, marriage takes 100% - 100%. Both sides have to commit their energy to a healthy marriage. Not only that, people have to realize that regardless of what image married couples show the world, most are in the 98% category mentioned above.
 
The best news is that the way marriage works, sometimes the challenge and innovative thinking necessary to keep  marriage going, is the most fun.
             
A while ago I came across a news article about a couple that was married a while and  felt that their marriage was stale. They were not getting along well with each other, so both of them clandestinely started to look for someone else. Eventually both the husband and wife found someone else on internet. Each found that the internet ‘friend' shared their passion, sense of fun and their goals. In the excitement of a new secret relationship they gave the relationship their-all with no stops or inhibitions.
 
One day after communicating with his internet ‘friend' long enough, the husband arranged a rendezvous to see her and plan their future. They arranged a quiet place to meet and gave signs so they can recognize each other. Imagine his surprise - imagine their surprise - when his internet friend turned out to be his wife!
 
What a fascinating story! How often is it that we see such an open sign that says ‘take your energy and effort and use it for your spouse with whom you have common goals, common needs, and once shared the same energy'?
 
Each part of this couple was still looking for and was attracted to the very same things that attracted them when they first met. How sad that they didn't put that same energy into fixing up their own relationship - and adding spice to it - instead of looking for alternatives outside of their marriage.  
 
A marriage can definitely be made in heaven, but we need to safeguard it to make sure that it stays healthy and happy. Those same things that attracted us to our spouse originally are still there if we just look for them and keep them alive.    

 

 

 
     
 
 
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